The U.S. Labor Department sent to the White House for approval a final rule to eliminate a Trump-era regulation that would have eased businesses’ ability to classify workers as independent contractors, according to an online notice Thursday.
A rule being transferred to the White House’s regulatory gatekeeper is typically the final step before an agency can release it to the public.
DOL’s Wage and Hour Division has reviewed public comments submitted in response to its March proposal to rescind the Trump administration’s business-friendly interpretation of when workers are employees—who receive federal wage protections—versus when they’re independent contractors, who are exempt from such standards.
The original measure, published in the final weeks of former President Donald Trump’s term, has never taken effect; the Biden administration delayed it to allow time for it to be rescinded through the rulemaking process. That decision to delay the effective date is the subject of a business lobby lawsuit designed to salvage the Trump regulation.
The Biden administration hasn’t said publicly whether it will replace the Trump-era rule with its own interpretation of employee status under the Fair Labor Standards Act.